Tips to Get Around Uganda by Car

A visit to Uganda is exciting as it always entails a wide array of amazing adventures. Getting around Uganda is characterized by many experiences as the whole process involves driving to new destinations that have cyclists, traffic jam, potholes and even sometimes animals crossing the high-ways.

While on a Uganda road trip, expect to come along some of these, especially in the countryside where most of Uganda’s tourist attractions are located and including some major towns. To enjoy your tour around Uganda, you must plan adequately to make your final journey to a destination a success.

While most of the visitors to Uganda use mainly road transport, the state of roads varies also in terms of regions and seasons. The areas that have murram roads are always dusty during the dry spell and during the rainy season it is muddy which requires a 4×4 vehicle to navigate through these remote locations.

It’s most vital to inquire from the car rental companies about the current road conditions before exploring the country on your own. In case you are planning to spend your holiday in Uganda, never travel during night hours as this puts travelers into risk of accidents or highway robbers. Additional, it is not easy to give you assistance in case you any problem or if the car breaks down at night!

  • 4×4 Cars

Most of the Ugandan roads are similar to any other country in the sub-Sahara Africa. The main roads are covered with small crushed stones, so many end up with deep pot holes. The minor roads and the roadsides are made of murram when graded are quite quick and reasonable. The best way to enjoy these roads is to drive cautiously and to stay alert.

4x4 Jeep

However, these roads can be best conquered by 4×4 cars like Land cruisers, Toyota Prados, 4×4 super customs, Jeeps and others. If you’re a foreigner who is interested in getting around, endeavor to hire a 4×4 car with a driver who knows the country in depth as you explore. Some other means include;

  • Vans / Omnibuses / Matatu / Taxis

This is most common means of transport within Kampala and connecting other major towns in Uganda. This is a fourteen passenger vehicle which is favorable for travelers who can almost stop at any location. The most interesting is that these taxis are pocket friendly. In Kampala they operate between various places as they stop frequently while picking and dropping travelers.

Commuter Taxi - Kampala

Commuter Taxi – Kampala

These taxis come with a driver and conductor, in case you are not familiar with the destination the Taxi is heading to, just inquire from either the driver or conductor. When you’re a foreigner, be careful as you board, most of them take advantage of new faces in town and end up charging high amount compared to the local people. To be aware about the charges, ask the staff at your place of accommodation and average prices to specific destinations. These vans connect travelers to different parts of the country at affordable costs.

  • Special hire Taxi

Despite the fact that it is expensive in Uganda but it becomes affordable when the cost is shared by many travelers. In Uganda when you went a special hire taxi, you can bargain for the price and get the best price depending on the travelers bargaining ability. This is a common means in Kampala city and other major towns in Uganda. Most hotels have individuals / car hire agencies whom they refer visitors to in case of any need.

These cars are hired with a driver and it can be for as many days as the traveler wants, plus fuel. In most cases the charge rates in town are a bit lower compared to those of up country.

Special Hire Taxis

Special Hire Taxis – Uber, Taxify


Buses are also possible means of road transport that travelers can use to get around Uganda. There are many bus companies that run frequently, usually leaving Kampala city to other distant regions of Uganda.

A visitor who is interested in experiencing Uganda by public means of transport then using buses gives the perfect experience. These buses travel long distances to even areas where it is a whole day drive passing via exciting tourist sites like national parks, monuments, large inland water bodies among others.

Buses are perfect for backpackers who have time to enjoy on the way while eating the road side foods like roasted meat, fruits, and drinks. Note that most buses operate on schedules of travelling. It’s best to inquire from a local person before choosing which bus to use. Some buses operated to other countries like Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and south Sudan so it can be an opportunity to explore also the neighboring countries.